South Africa


South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is a country located in Southern Africa. It has 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. To the north lie the neighbouring countries of NamibiaBotswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; and within it lies Lesotho, an enclavesurrounded by South African territory. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world’s 25th-most populous nation.

Capitals: Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein
Dialing code: +27
National anthem: National anthem of South Africa
President: Jacob Zuma
Official languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Tsonga, Swati, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Venda, Northern Sotho, NdebeleLaws on homosexuality

The legal and social status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people has been influenced by a combination traditional South African mores, colonialism, and the lingering effects ofapartheid and the human rights movement that contributed to its abolition. South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, and South Africa was the fifth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, LGBT South Africans continue to face considerable challenges, including social stigma, homophobic violence (particularly corrective rape), and high rates of HIV/AIDS infection.

Same-sex sexual activity legal? Male legal since 1998
Female never illegal
Age of consent equalisedin 2007
Gender identity/expression Change of legal gender permitted since 2003
Military service Allowed to serve openly
Discrimination protections Constitutional and statutory protections (see below)
Family rights
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage since 2006
Adoption Joint and step-parent adoption since 2002

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